Face the Question: Does This Woman’s ‘Other’ Job Affect Her Writing? I don’t think so.

The image above is of Sarah Tressler, an alternative weekly writer for the Houston Chronicle who was recently sacked after it was revealed that she was working as an exotic dancer/stripper on the side. The newspaper’s reasoning for terminating Tressler’s position at the Texas newspaper was that she didn’t disclose her other occupation on her original job application.

Claiming unfair dismissal and gender discrimination, Ms Tressler sued the newspaper back in May and in the coming weeks we will see the release of her memoir ‘Diary of an Angry Stripper’, which will reveal how she maintained and balanced her two careers. The Independent said that “Ms Tressler announced that she will further leverage her notoriety by embarking on a “coast to coast” stripping tour” and that “she hopes the road trip will bring national attention to her discrimination claim and help her get her old job back as a feature writer and society reporter.”

I am completely on Sarah Tressler’s side. Other websites and papers may say that Tressler lied on her original employment application and therefore that is cause enough for her to bosses to fire her, however I disagree. University fees in America are extortionate and since Tressler has a Masters Degree from NYU she is going to be one of the many young people in the US who have a difficult time paying back the hundreds of thousands of fees that college racks up. And I know myself (not from personal experience I might add!) just how much you can make as an exotic dancer: a lot. Not only that, but up until her bosses found out about the fact that she moonlights as an exotic dancer, she was being congratulated on what a good job she was doing by her editor. So if she was such an asset to the newspaper, why would they be sacking her if it wasn’t for the fact that they weren’t  too happy about her ‘alternative’ other profession?

The Independent reports that “The Chronicle has not commented, but it is expected to counter that the sacking was justified because Ms Tressler’s side-job “adversely affected” her credibility as a journalist.” Again, ridiculous. What about the Leveson Inquiry? The journalists at the centre of that debacle are the ones whose credibility is in tatters. Exotic dancing is not meddling with innocent people’s lives and illegally phone hacking. It is a young woman trying to do what she is good at and enjoys – writing – but also attempting to stay afloat in an economic climate that for many, is a daily struggle. And a features writer isn’t going to get paid the salary of a banker – another morally questionable career at times in regards to the bank bosses bonuses and so on. I believe that Sarah Tressler’s writing is her writing, and her job on the side to earn good money isn’t going to ‘adversely’ affect that at all. She is obviously a hugely intelligent woman who got a good degree from an excellent US university and sadly, I think that has been forgotten.

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